Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Garbage collection - My apologies to the Dutch

Several months ago, when I was living in De Pijp, I wrote a post about how I couldn't understand how the locals were able to stand the volume of garbage that was strewn about their streets due to the lack of efficient garbage collection mechanisms. In particular, I believe I commented on how surprised I was that a country that seems so ingenious in so many ways hadn't sorted out a better solution.

I clearly owe someone an apology.

Last Autumn I moved to a building near the IJ in a place called Silodam. It's a lovely spot, but if everyone just left their garbage on the street it'd be anarchy. So there, and in many other places all around the city, (and I'm sure around the world - I just don't pay much attention to garbage collection when I'm travelling, and they don't have this system anywhere that I've lived before) they've come up with a very clever solution. Garbage disposal units that are small and handy at the top, but that are buried into the ground with a large reservoir. So the garbage truck comes by, grabs the top, and pulls the whole big thing out. Pictures below tell a better story than I'll be able to.

It looks good. It's convenient. It keeps the garbage from blowing around the streets. It's brilliant. A better system than I've ever seen before.